Amitriptyline (By mouth)

Introduction

Amitriptyline (am-i-TRIP-ti-leen)

Treats depression. This medicine is a tricyclic antidepressant.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Elavil

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to amitriptyline or to related medicine such as Asendin®, Anafranil®, Sinequan®, maprotiline (Ludiomil®), or trazodone (Desyrel®). You should not use this medicine if you are also taking cisapride (Propulsid®).

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to take and how often. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine may be taken on an empty or full stomach.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • If you take only one dose at bedtime and you miss the dose, do not take the medicine in the morning. Wait until the next night and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Avoid drinking alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have diabetes, a history of heart disease, glaucoma, epilepsy, or stomach or intestinal disease.
  • For some children and teenagers, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. All of the warnings in this leaflet are true for a child or teenager who is using this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed. Also tell your doctor right away if you have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or get worse quickly. Make sure your caregiver knows if you have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell your doctor if you have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let your doctor know if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
  • You may need to take this medicine for several weeks before you start to feel better.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to take less and less before stopping it completely.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Confusion, agitation, hallucinations
  • Diarrhea, fever, sweating, trembling or shaking
  • Fainting
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Skin rash or hives

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in vision such as trouble focusing
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Dry mouth, nausea, or weight changes
  • Loss of interest in sex or loss of ability to have sex (impotence)
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Trouble going to the bathroom

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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